While the Vatican did not mention it, it was in the WJC statement that had been discussed concerning Jewish affairs in Europe. In this context it came to Kosher laws of ritual slaughter and the ban on circumcision that have been complained against by the most prominent and influential Jewish organization as "anti-Jewish". The WJC told the Pope of a "new anti-Semitism" and described in this context, Poland. A connection that offends many Poles and even Polish Church circles.
"Special order" for Cardinal Koch in Poland? - Papal solidarity with Jews Meeting Criticism
More so the criticism was concerned that Pope Francis, did not defend the Poles, but that he should affirm the Jewish criticism. The WJC statement said that the Pope had shown himself "concerned" about ritual slaughter and Cardinal Koch, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity was commissioned "to investigate" the mattter and within the convene a special meeting next week.
The papal "solidarity" with Jews and papal "investigations" against Poland have caused a significant storm in the Polish press. In the media the Pope's statement is referred to as "inappropriate". The tone of criticism is, however, significantly immoderate in its choice of words. On the streets you can hear violent statements in a mixture of disappointment, misunderstanding and outrage. A woman in Krakow of about 40 is visibly upset about the question of the papal statement, who offers the counter-question: "Will the Pope not defend us? We are Catholics. Why is he defending the Jews who deny Christ?" The surrounding women, who come straight from their shopping, concur with her.
Vatican spokesman Lombardi Denies the World Jewish Congress
Meanwhile, is was also reported in the Jerusalem Post . On Tuesday, the matter appeared in the daily meetings of Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi where it was discussed with journalists. Lombardi was forced to correct the statement of the World Jewish Congress. "There is no particular order of the Pope to Cardinal Koch regarding the rules for animal slaughter in Poland," said the Vatican spokesman.
The conflict over Jewish ritual slaughter had broken out in Poland, after the Constitutional Court had been called to determine the method unconstitutional because of animal cruelty. It sparked violent protests by Jewish organizations in Europe and at the international level. The Jewish organizations spoke of a "devastating impact on religious freedom".
Polish Parliament Rejected a Special Permit for Jewish Ritual Slaughter
Recently the Polish majority in Parliament rejected a bill from the bourgeois-liberal government that would allow the Jewish ritual slaughter again. The government based this decision one one taken by the EU policy in January that allowed the Jews ritual slaughter. Israel, too, has been active in diplomatic parquet and described the Polish ban on ritual slaughter as "totally unacceptable".
The reactions of Jewish organizations did not impress the Polish majority. The solidarity of the Pope had, however, not been expected in Poland. Accordingly, most of the discussions are vigorously concerned with a little "Who done It," as to what Pope Francis had really told the delegation of the WJC.
The controversy also coincides with the accreditation of the new Polish Ambassador to the Holy See. Piotr Nowina-Konopka, will pay his first official visit to the Pope on Monday.
The Close Proximity of the Argentine Pope to Judaism
The Polish reactions takes the friendship and closeness to the Pope of Argentine Jews into the public spotlight. With the rabbi of Buenos Aires, the then Archbishop Bergoglio an interview book. The hospitality he gave Jewish organizations, including the Masonic B'nai B'rith, in Catholic churches, was not without controversy even before his election as Pope in Catholic circles in Argentina. Even as Pope his audiences for Jewish leaders or representatives of Jewish organizations and his messages to the Jewish religion and to the Jewish Community in Rome is recognized this particular area. At a reception for high WJC representatives in June Francis Pope had said: "Because of the common roots a Christian can not be an anti-Semite." On Monday, he reiterated this statement and added that a Christian to be a "good Christian" who has to understand Jewish history and tradition. [Never mind that most Catholics, even in Buenos Aires, don't know aught about Catholicism.]
In Poland, these statements are now being discussed and partly criticized. Although the intention of the June statement was clear, the choice of words, was yet inappropriate, because what is the name of "anti-Semite" exactly. The Monday Statement is ambiguous, because what was meant by "Jewish history and tradition." Jewish history and tradition of the Old Testament or today? Why must a person, to be a good Christian, know the history and traditions of the Jews after the birth of Christ?
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: traditions catholica
Image: traditions catholica
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org